Sumary of Matt Hancock ‘was warned of Covid care home risk in March 2020’:
- Some of the UK biggest care home operators have told the Guardian they repeatedly warned Matt Hancock department about the risk of not testing people discharged from hospitals into care homes in March 2020..
- several times in correspondence with the Department of Health and Social Care as well as NHS England in late March 2020..
- The Care Provider Alliance also called on the government to prioritise testing for care residents to stop the spread of the virus, warning on 26 March 2020 that without it “there is no way of knowing whether they are going to infect others”..
- Yet despite the pressure from frontline care operators, Hancock didn’t make testing for hospital discharges mandatory until mid-April, after the first wave death toll had peaked weeks later..
- The care homes issue is likely to be a key focus of questions when Hancock faces cross-examination from MPs on the combined health and social care and science and technology committee inquiry on Thursday..
- Hancock testimony comes two weeks after Dominic Cummings, the prime minister former adviser, accused him of serial incompetence that should have led him to be sacked..
- He also alleged Hancock had in effect misled Downing Street into believing that testing on patients being sent to back to care homes was being carried out when it wasn’t..
- Hancock denies this, saying that his position was that hospital discharges would be tested only when enough testing became available….